In the words of Ron Burgundy, “Let’s just relax, let’s not loose our heads.”
It was the first preseason game, their is no need to hit the panic button and start chanting “off with their heads!”
Now I watched the game on Friday, but before I wrote my thoughts on this blog I chose too watch it again last night to get a fresh mindset. There were some bright spots to the game as well as some dark, however the bigger question is if the players and coaches can make corrections and get better in there next game.
Let’s start with the good:
Linebackers and running backs. The linebackers were doing a great job of plugging up running holes and creating havoc in pass reads for the Falcons quarterbacks. Namely, Jovan Belcher, 5 tackles, Pierre Walters, 5 tackles, and Corey Mays, 4 tackles. These three backers were the bright spots for the Chiefs on defense. Early in the game, the front seven looked like a similar 2009 Chiefs defense ranked at the bottom of the NFL in rush defense. At first I thought it was going to be a long night, but after the first few minutes of first game jitters were out of the way it seemed as if they were buckling down and fulfilling their assignments (for the most part). The linebackers, as well as the defensive line (I must give them their due as well), were able to hold the Falcons to 100 yards on 37 rush attempts. I look forward to seeing the linebackers continue to step up in the next three preseason games.
Also a bright spot was the running back position. In a crowded backfield, the backs made the most of their opportunities with the ball. Jamaal Charles was solid with four carries for 37 yards. Thomas Jones, who did start over Charles, played one series and gained only two yards. However it was the exciting play of shifty running back Dexter McCluster who averaged five yards a carry, gaining 25 yards on the night, as well as catching three passes for 23 yards in the slot position. I look for McCluster to have a huge impact on the Chiefs in the 2010 season due to his versatility and his blazing speed out of the backfield. Javarris Williams also showed why his name should be in the running to make the team carrying the ball seven times for 38 yards, a very productive game. Also a very intriguing competition when breaking down the 53 man roster, a player like Williams will have to continue to make big plays in the next three games.
The Chief quarterbacks, just not that great to me. This maybe a contentious and argued point I am making, but the quarterbacks just never seemed to look the way they should. Each one turned the ball over (Cassel fumbled, Palko int., Croyle int.). Cassel went four series in the game and finished 6/8 for a measly 25 yards. Palko and Croyle were almost identical going 8/13, 66 yards and 8/15, 65 yards, respectively. A lot of the blame I will put a lot of the blame on the offensive line for putting them under duress. None made the plays an NFL quarterback should and they need to rectify that.
Now the Ugly.
The offensive line. Absolutely horrid in the pass game and despite some great athleticism from the running backs, nothing to brag about in the rushing game. The offensive line is going to need to get better. Fast. There is nothing really more I can say other than, yuck. I mean the reason the quarterbacks were in the bad category was partly due to the play of the offensive line. Giving up a sack fumble, two seconds after the snap is not acceptable. As far as I am concerned that whole position is up for grabs still.
Quick Notes: Ex-Chief Tony Gonzalez was welcomed by a few of the Chief veterans before the game and had two grabs for 28 yards against his former team…No. 5 overall draft pick for the Chiefs recorded one tackle in the game…Ryan Succop was one of three missing two 53 yard kicks, one of which bounced off the upright.
Check back later in the week for the preview against the Buccaneers.
About the Author
Written by Vince Sapienza
I am a sports enthusiast pursuing an undergraduate degree in Television Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Communication Studies with a deep passion and love for all that is sports.